Saturday, October 25, 2014

"Servants with the same attitude" Do whatever he tells you (John 2:5).

On October 25, 2014 we held our traditional monthly recollection, on the theme: "Servants with the same attitude" Do whatever he tells you (John 2: 5). This took place in the Community of the Novitiate of the Little Missionaries Sisters of Charity (Don Orione). The moderator, Reverend Sister Maria Stella has led us to discover the greatness of Lord's call and the singularity of each one of us in the perspective of constantly answer to this call. Below is a patchwork of some elements discussed.

On the Footstep of Mary:
The Blessed Virgin Mary “conceived, brought forth and nourished Christ. She presented Him to the Father in the temple, and was united with Him by compassion as He died on the Cross. In this singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Saviour in giving back supernatural life to souls. Wherefore she is our mother in the order of grace.” (Lumen Gentium 61)
“The Blessed Virgin teaches unconditional discipleship and diligent service. In Mary, "the temple of the Holy Spirit, "all the splendour of the new creation shines forth… The Blessed Virgin shares with them the love which enables them to offer their lives every day for Christ and to cooperate with him in the salvation of the world.” (Vita Consecrata 28)
In the whole mystery of Christ, from his Incarnation up to the Calvary, Mary have been a gift given to all, especially to us her predestinated children, religious, seminarians and priests. That sounds much for us daughters and spiritual sons of Don Orione, to whom she is a Foundress and Heavenly Mother. Mary for us is an example of serving the plan of the Kingdom of God, the one we are all called to love in a special way, especially in this month of the holy Rosary. During this day, at her school, let us rediscover our being servants of the poor and disciples of Jesus.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Paul VI, blessed in nomine Domini

Pope Montini, now Blessed Paul VI
It's been expected for months... and this morning, it's official. Today October 19, 2014, was held at the St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, the Beatification of Pope Paul VI, the Pope signatory of the documents of the Second Vatican Council. He is the same one who, on 15 September 1965, following the invitation of this Second Vatican Council, with words of great profundity and historical scope established the Synod of Bishops. Thank you for his deep and humble testimony of love for God and his people. One could express him greatest gratitude than to celebrate his Beatification after a Synodal Meeting.

Who is this Pope Paul VI (1963-1978)?
Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini was born on September 26, 1897 at Concesio (Lombardy) of a wealthy family of the upper class. His father was a non-practicing lawyer turned editor and a courageous promoter of social action. Giovanni was a frail but intelligent child who received his early education from the Jesuits near his home in Brescia. Even after entering the seminary (1916) he was allowed to live at home because of his health. After his ordination in 1920 he was sent to Rome to study at the Gregorian University and the University of Rome, but in 1922 he transferred to the Accademia dei Nobili Ecclesiastici to study diplomacy continuing his canon law studies at the Gregorian. In 1923 he was sent to Warsaw as attache of the nunciature but was recalled to Rome (1924), because of the effect of the severe Polish winters on his health, and assigned to the office of the Secretariat of State where he remained for the next thirty years. Besides teaching at the Accademia dei Nobili Ecclesiastici he was named chaplain to the Federation of Italian Catholic University Students (FUCI), an assignment that was to have a decisive effect on his relations with the founders of the post-war Christian Democratic Party.

"The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization"

Gathered for two weeks of work, the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family closes its work yesterday 18th October 2014. Please find here the concluding message of Pope Francis to the assembled Fathers.

Dear Eminences, Beatitudes, Excellencies, Brothers and Sisters,
With a heart full of appreciation and gratitude I want to thank, along with you, the Lord who has accompanied and guided us in the past days, with the light of the Holy Spirit.
From the heart I thank Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod, Bishop Fabio Fabene, under-secretary, and with them I thank the Relators, Cardinal Peter Erdo, who has worked so much in these days of family mourning, and the Special Secretary Bishop Bruno Forte, the three President delegates, the transcribers, the consultors, the translators and the unknown workers, all those who have worked with true fidelity and total dedication behind the scenes and without rest. Thank you so much from the heart.
I thank all of you as well, dear Synod fathers, Fraternal Delegates, Auditors, and Assessors, for your active and fruitful participation. I will keep you in prayer asking the Lord to reward you with the abundance of His gifts of grace!
I can happily say that – with a spirit of collegiality and of synodality – we have truly lived the experience of “Synod,” a path of solidarity, a “journey together.”
And it has been “a journey” – and like every journey there were moments of running fast, as if wanting to conquer time and reach the goal as soon as possible; other moments of fatigue, as if wanting to say “enough”; other moments of enthusiasm and ardour. There were moments of profound consolation listening to the testimony of true pastors, who wisely carry in their hearts the joys and the tears of their faithful people. Moments of consolation and grace and comfort hearing the testimonies of the families who have participated in the Synod and have shared with us the beauty and the joy of their married life. A journey where the stronger feel compelled to help the less strong, where the more experienced are led to serve others, even through confrontations. And since it is a journey of human beings, with the consolations there were also moments of desolation, of tensions and temptations, of which a few possibilities could be mentioned:
 - One, a temptation to hostile inflexibility, that is, wanting to close oneself within the written word, (the letter) and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God, by the God of surprises, (the spirit); within the law, within the certitude of what we know and not of what we still need to learn and to achieve. From the time of Christ, it is the temptation of the zealous, of the scrupulous, of the solicitous and of the so-called – today – “traditionalists” and also of the intellectuals.
 - The temptation to a destructive tendency to goodness [it. buonismo], that in the name of a deceptive mercy binds the wounds without first curing them and treating them; that treats the symptoms and not the causes and the roots. It is the temptation of the “do-gooders,” of the fearful, and also of the so-called “progressives and liberals.”
 - The temptation to transform stones into bread to break the long, heavy, and painful fast (cf. Lk 4:1-4); and also to transform the bread into a stone and cast it against the sinners, the weak, and the sick (cf Jn 8:7), that is, to transform it into unbearable burdens (Lk 11:46).
 - The temptation to come down off the Cross, to please the people, and not stay there, in order to fulfil the will of the Father; to bow down to a worldly spirit instead of purifying it and bending it to the Spirit of God.
 - The temptation to neglect the “depositum fidei” [the deposit of faith], not thinking of themselves as guardians but as owners or masters [of it]; or, on the other hand, the temptation to neglect reality, making use of meticulous language and a language of smoothing to say so many things and to say nothing! They call them “byzantinisms,” I think, these things…